Steamboat grad returns to roots with children’s book illustrations | SteamboatToday.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Steamboat grad returns to roots with children’s book illustrations

Luke Graham
Heritage Christian School graduate Dana Schlingman recently did the illustrations for the children's book "The Night Before Christmas in Ski Country."
Dana_3

— Dana Schlingman always had art pulsating from her feet, up through her arms and all the way to her brain, where it suddenly stopped.

Schlingman always had a sense she wanted to be an artist, from rudimentary drawings as a child to the cartoon characters she created in grade school.

But her brain told her being an artist wasn’t practical.

Being practical, she said, was going to school, getting an internship, finding a job and going from there.

So after graduating from Heritage Christian School in 2005, Schlingman went to Biola University in Southern California and studied English.

She enjoyed classic literature, but there still was the pull of art.

Finally, as a sophomore, Schlingman made the decision. Studying classic literature wasn’t really practical either, so why not follow what she truly loved?

“I figured if I was not going to be practical, I might as well dive in all the way,” she said.

It’s starting to pay off.

Schlingman recently illustrated her first published children’s book, “The Night Before Christmas in Ski Country,” with author Suzanne Brown.

Schlingman will have presentations Friday at noon at Ridgeview Elementary School in Craig and at 2:30 p.m. at Hayden Valley Elementary School. She also will have a book signing at 2 p.m. Saturday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore.

“These visits show kids that unconventional careers aren’t impossible even though they may seem so,” Schlingman said. “Growing up in a small town, I didn’t see all the opportunities.”

For her senior project in college, Schlingman illustrated a children’s book. After graduating in 2009, she joined the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. The organization includes authors, illustrators, publishers and agents, and it gave her a foothold into the industry.

At a conference in 2012, Brown saw Schlingman’s portfolio and was interested in working with her.

Eventually, the two sat down with a Boulder publisher, and the book, which features inspirations from the Yampa Valley, was finished in August.

“Even though my artist dreams weren’t fully formed there, it was a huge part of who I am,” she said.

Schlingman now lives in Greeley where she is able to make a living through her art. She paints garden boxes and does other projects.

“Art ebbs and flows with busyness,” she said.

She also nannies on the side and draws inspiration for projects from the 4- and 6-year-olds whom she watches.

She still has the children’s book she wrote and illustrated in college and hopes she’ll someday publish it.

That love of art never left, she said. It just took some time to get her head on board.

“For art,” she said, “it’s more of a nebulous winding path.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Explore Steamboat

Deck the Halls with Pickleballs

|

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The beauty of pickleballs is they’re highly decoratable — that is, very easy to decorate. The light, hard plastic, porous balls are perfect for art projects and particularly, ornaments.



See more